U.S. Development Efforts and Balance-of-Payments Problems in Developing Countries

Gao ID: ID-83-13 February 14, 1983

GAO reviewed U.S. programs designed to assist countries with balance-of-payments problems focusing on: (1) what the United States can contribute to easing the pressures of developing countries' debt burdens while ensuring the most effective and efficient use of limited resources; and (2) what relationship debt rescheduling has to a U.S. bilateral program in the rescheduling country.

The Agency for International Development (AID) administers U.S. balance-of-payments support programs in some developing countries in addition to carrying out the U.S. bilateral development assistance program. AID is faced with the need to balance its development mandate to provide basic human needs with the increased incidence of balance-of-payments difficulties. GAO believes that AID program planners and missions may lack guidance as to which countries and at what point the United States will consider assistance in deteriorating balance-of-payments situations. Since the 1950's, the United States has rescheduled debts of developing countries when they faced imminent default. The United States considers debt rescheduling to be a financial matter with the objective of providing maximum loan repayments to the United States. The United States ties a debt rescheduling agreement to an International Monetary Fund stabilization agreement and seeks maximum debt repayment consistent with the debtor country's economic recovery. Thus, the goals of debt rescheduling are, to some extent, compatible with the goals of development assistance.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Samuel W. Bowlin Team: General Accounting Office: International Division Phone: (202) 275-5790

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.